Recently, an activist, Prerna Thiruvaipati, also a member of an organisation called ‘All India Dalit Youth Association’ had written a letter to the health ministry and the management of AIIMS-Delhi in which she had urged them to probe the recent blood donation by the Bhim Army chief, Chandrashekhar Azad. It was alleged that Azad is suffering from that blood disease and patients of this disease should not donate blood.
Now, the AIIMS management had given in writing to the activist that the Bhim Army Chief had told them that he was not suffering from any medical condition. Furthermore, even his doctor Harjit Bhatti did not inform about Azad’s ailment.
Now, AIIMS has given me in writing that @BhimArmyChief told them he WAS NOT suffering from any medical condition. Damn, even his doctor @DrHarjitBhatti DID NOT INFORM about his medication. Why? Did they both want to harm people? Did they mean to put lives in danger?? pic.twitter.com/hHMpJrftgb— Prerna Thiruvaipati 🇮🇳 (@PrernaThiruvaip) June 13, 2020
Responding to the mail sent by Prerna seeking information about the blood donation of Mr Chandrashekhar Azad, the AIIMS said that during the blood donation drive, Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti along with Mr Chandrashekhar Azad and some of their acquaintances came forward to voluntarily donate their blood when they came to know about the blood donation drive.
The letter states that according to the declaration tendered by Mr Azad, he had donated blood 6 months ago along with the declaration that he was not ailing from any medical condition that may affect his health or may harm the recipient. Even Dr Harjit Bhatti, Mr Azad’s physician, who accompanied him on the blood donation drive, did not reveal about his current diagnosis and medication/treatment.
The letter mentions that only after outrage on social media where Mr Azad’s OPD card was highlighted, saying he was suffering from polycythemia vera (highlighted by Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti), his blood was discarded.
Following the response from AIIMS, the activist has now raised question over the blood donated by the Bhim Army chief 6 months ago. Accusing Mr Azad and his Doctor Harjit Bhatti of gross irresponsibility, Prerna has sought answers from the duo for their perversely malevolent behaviour.
Activists writes to AIIMS and Health Ministry demanding probe of blood donation by the Bhim Army Chief
Last month, activist Prerna Thiruvaipati had written to the AIIMS and the health ministry, urging them to investigate blood donation by Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad who was suffering from polycythemia vera, a medical condition in which it is not advisable to donate blood to others after photos of him donating blood were circulated on social media.
The concern was first flagged by Dr Prashant Sharma about the blood donation that Mr Azad had done despite suffering from an illness that forbids him from donating his blood. Prerna cited Prashant Sharma’s Twitter post to file her complaint with the health ministry and AIIMS.
Dr Prashant Sharma had taken to Twitter on May 16 to apprise that Chandrashekhar Azad had donated blood with his doctor Harjit Singh Bhatti recently at AIIMS Delhi. He wrote that Azad is suffering from polycythemia vera, a blood disorder. He said that under this medical condition, a person cannot donate blood to another person and by doing so Azad has risked the life of a person. Calling it a publicity stunt, Sharma had asked whether Dr Bhatti will be held accountable as he is Azad’s consulting doctor. Sharma had substantiated his claims with relevant screenshots.
In this entire episode, the gross negligence of Dr Harjit Bhatti, apparently, the personal doctor to Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad, has come to fore. It may be noted that Bhatti himself had informed that his patient Azad suffers from polycythemia. He and the lawyers of Azad had even cited this health condition to demand bail for Azad when he was in jail. Therefore, despite being well-aware of Mr Azad’s medical ailment, he still did not stop him from donating the blood. Neither did he declare in the declaration form that Mr Azad was suffering from polycythemia vera.
The curious case of Dr Harjit Bhatti
Dr Bhatti had been the same doctor which the leftist organisation and journalists such as Newslaundry and Barkha Dutt had wrongly represented him as the representative voice from AIIMS. The leftists while quoting Dr Bhatti had alleged that ABVP members received only superficial injuries during the JNU violence, however, the Left students had been injured grievously.
It was, however, revealed that Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti is not a doctor at the AIIMS. His Twitter profile says he was president of the Resident Doctors’ Association at AIIMS but does not inform about his current medical practice. The Alumni page of AIIMS says that he is working at Manipal Hospital in Delhi. But the website of the hospital lists no doctor by that name. Moreover, when defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra called the hospital, he was informed that they have no doctor by that name.
As it turned out, Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti is the National Convenor of the All India Medical Cell of the Congress party. In February last year, he was appointed to the post in the Congress party. The romance between the established media and Dr Bhatti is not new. From as far back as 2017, the media has been publishing comments by Dr Bhatti without any indication of his political affiliation. In fact, this phenomenon has continued well into 2020, almost a year after he became a post-holder in the Congress part.
The left leaning media organisations have been liberally quoting Dr Bhatti without revealing his political connection with the Congress party. In July 2019, the Statesman carried a news article quoting Dr Bhatti who had been severely critical of the National Medical Bill Commission but did not mention about his political leanings.
Left-leaning rag–The Caravan too published a report quoting Dr Bhatti recently but without identifying him as a Congress functionary. The headline of the article by The Caravan was “How the police prevented medical volunteers from working at the CAA protests”. While the entire article is peppered with Dr Bhatti’s quotes, The Caravan did not mention for once that he is a Congress-post holder. While Caravan introduced him as the PMSF president, they failed to mention his Congress connection.
There have been several more instances when media organisations have portrayed Dr Bhatti as an independent voice criticising the central government. The media has been using Dr Bhatti and publishing his comments for years now. However, the most shocking case of media irresponsibility is when even after his appointment as the National Convenor of the All India Medical Cell of the Congress party, they continue to project him as an independent voice with no political affiliations.